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CFOs deliver sterling defiance against euro

Business leaders have gone off Britain joining the euro, according to the latest MORI captains of industry survey.


While about seven in 10 favoured scrapping the pound for the single currency in 1998, now less than half believe it is in the country's economic interest. In that period, there has been a swing of about 25% against joining the euro, despite its recent strength against the US dollar.


The fieldwork for the annual survey was taken between late August and the end of October.


Some six in 10 respondents were chairmen, chief executive officers and managing directors, with the remainder made up of chief financial officers and board directors of FTSE 500 companies. Half of the companies involved employ more than 5,000 staff and 51% are based in London.


More than 70% of respondents supported last January's proposals in the Higgs report on improving corporate governance, with 14% saying they were unsure or thought it was good in parts. As the Higgs report was directed at the top FTSE companies, this will be a welcome finding to Derek Higgs, author of the report, and to its sponsor, the Department of Trade and Industry.

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